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St. Albert BMX Club boasts new track, growing membership

Olympic-calibre facility 'one of the top two or three' in North America

The St. Albert BMX Club unveiled its nearly $1 million new supercross race track in Riel Business Park earlier this month, hosting more than 150 racers from across the province on opening day to celebrate what the club's vice-president called one of the top tracks in North America.

The new track, with its eight-metre (and youth- or amateur-oriented five-metre) starting hill, makes it an Olympic-calibre facility, something rare in Canada, said Kyle Reiling, the club's vice-president.

“It really is one of the top two or three tracks in North America,” Reiling said. “There's a very, very high likelihood that next year we will be hosting the Canadian Nationals for BMX, as well as the following year.”

“Realistically, three to four years from now, we could be hosting a World Cup, and five to 10 years from now we could be hosting a World Championship at that track.”

With the club's eyes set on hosting major events from here on out, the new track will be put to the test not only by local competitors doing weekly training and races this summer, but in August when the club will host the fifth and sixth races in the Alberta BMX provincial series, as well as a Canada Cup competition, in August.

“We should have about 500 to 600 racers for that weekend,” Reiling said. “It will be the first major race in St. Albert — those are the best racers across Canada.”

While the new track may put St. Albert on the map for the sport, it's already making waves in the local scene, as Reiling said membership increased by over 200 per cent this summer. Registered riders now total more than 100, compared to the roughly 30 that rode regularly in 2023.

“That's about 70 new riders just from the new track, and then it will grow [as] we'll see additional riders from other tracks take out memberships, because this facility is just second to none,” Reiling said. “It is a new club, essentially, with a new track.”

With increased membership comes increased hours, Reiling added, as the club plans to welcome racers as much as possible over the summer.

“The track has literally been open almost every day and will continue to be open every day,” he said. “This development was really an Alberta project — every single club put their own money into this project ranging from, in most cases, $10,000 to $20,000 per club right across Alberta because they understood the need for this eight-metre starting hill and new training facility.”

“With that, our open [track] days are also days that are dedicated to these clubs so that they can make their way out from Lethbridge, from Okotoks, or Aidrie and come and train for a couple days there just to give back.”

Besides donations from other BMX associations across Alberta and general fundraising, the St. Albert club received a $550,000 grant from the provincial government last year, and a $50,000 grant from the City of St. Albert in 2022.

“We're just really excited to have the project completed,” Reiling said. “There's 3,600 tonnes of medium-density clay and 16,000 tonnes of crushed concrete, so it's a big track that was built.”

Those interested in trying out the sport can register with the club at any point over the summer, and the club's existing members range from youngsters on strider (no pedals) bikes to dedicated parents looking to humble their teen-aged kids.

Jack Farrell

About the Author: Jack Farrell

Jack Farrell joined the Thestreetgypsies in May, 2022.
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